Cable News Scrambles to Cover Ariana Grande Concert Tragedy

MSNBC and Fox News Channel shook up their primetime schedules in the wake of a tragic explosion outside Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande concert in the United Kingdom Monday that is said to have killed at least 19 people and injured approximately 50.

Fox News Channel dispatched Shepard Smith to its 9 p.m. slot, a roost typically occupied by its panel show “The Five.” Smith was also scheduled to anchor the network’s 11 p.m hour following a live broadcast by Sean Hannity in his usual 10 p.m. time slot. Fox News said it planned to cover the aftermath of the explosion overnight, tapping Los Angeles correspondent Trace Gallagher to anchor from midnight to 1 a.m, followed by Kelly Wright and Arthel Neville, who were scheduled to anchor a three-hour news block between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m.

MSNBC, meanwhile, dispatched Brian Williams to anchor its 10 p.m. hour, in part because the time-slot’s regular presence, Lawrence O’Donnell, was slated to be at a family event, and would have anchored the show remotely if not for the breaking news. Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow added reporting on the explosion to their regular hours.

CNN covered the news with its regularly scheduled programming: Anderson Cooper anchored between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., and Don Lemon picked up duties starting at 10 p.m.

Some broadcast networks broke into programming in the early evening to inform viewers of what had taken place.

On NBC, Lester Holt anchored a 7:30 p.m. special report on the incident, which he also reported on during NBC’s regular “Nightly News” broadcast. NBC News correspondent Kelly Cobiella joined him from the news unit’s London bureau. At ABC, David Muir anchored a special report right after the east coast broadcast of “World News Tonight.” Chief Foreign Correspondent Terry Moran contributed to the report from London. Muir also anchored a special West Coast edition of the program with updates.

More TV

  • Love Island - Pictured: Kyra Green,

    TV Ratings: Is 'Love Island' Deserted?

    Two weeks have passed on “Love Island” and plenty of singles have coupled and uncoupled in their bid for love and a fat $100,000 pay check. However, there’s one couple that doesn’t seem to be hitting it off: CBS and “Love Island.” Ratings for the show have been far from paradisiacal, and with the network [...]

  • Jenny Wall Eryk Casemiro Nickelodeon

    Jenny Wall Named Nickelodeon CMO, Eryk Casemiro Named Senior VP of Nickelodeon Preschool

    Nickelodeon has hired two new executives, tapping Jenny Wall to become chief marketing officer and Eryk Casemiro to become senior vice president of Nickelodeon Preschool. Most recently CMO at Spotify-owned Gimlet Media, Wall will be responsible for all on- and off-air consumer marketing, brand creative and content launches across all of Nickelodeon’s platforms, including Nicktoons, [...]

  • Liz Garbus on Why We May

    Liz Garbus on Why The World May Never Know 'Who Killed Garrett Phillips'

    By the time Liz Garbus’s two-part documentary “Who Killed Garrett Phillips?” debuts on HBO, there could be a new public lead in the case of the murdered titular 12-year-old. As least, that’s what many may hope after the new St. Lawrence County district attorney admitted a new tip earlier this spring. Garbus says she would [...]

  • Mike Fleiss

    'Bachelor' Producers in Wait-and-See Mode Amid Police Probe Into Fleiss Incident

    Those working on “The Bachelor” and its sister shows are in wait-and-see mode as a domestic incident involving creator Mike Fleiss continues to be investigated in Kauai, according to sources close to production. The results of the police investigation are still pending, after Fleiss’ wife, Laura Fleiss, had accused him of attacking her in their [...]

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    Cable Blackouts Growing More Common, Even If Subscribers Get Angry

    Among media companies, “going dark” was once a matter of last resort. Now it’s an option that is seeing more light. CBS is not currently available on DirecTV or AT&T’s U-verse, the result of a battle over how much the two outlets’ owner, AT&T, ought to pay for the right to send CBS into millions [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content